By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
After visiting Ragland jumped out to an early 17-5 lead in the Class 1A, Area 11 Tournament championship game on Feb. 9, Coosa Christian head coach Richard Hollingsworth took his most important timeout of the season.
Coosa senior Caden Davidson buried a 3-pointer soon after that well-timed break, and the Conquerors stormed back to capture their first area basketball championship in school history in a 78-62 win over the Purple Devils on Feb. 9 at The Coliseum.
“I thought that [the time-out] was the momentum shift,” said Hollingsworth. “We talked about winning timeouts, and we won that one. I think the rest of [the game] just fell in place.”
Ragland led 22-13 after the first quarter, but the Conqueror run continued into the second period. Coosa took the lead for the first time after a Caleb Sanderson basket made the score 31-29 with 1:56 remaining in the first half, and the hosts never trailed again. The
Conquerors led 39-32 at the half.
“We thought they’d have a lot of energy coming out, and we just wanted to stay poised and not give them the persona that they could keep running at that pace,” Hollingsworth said.
Ragland remained within striking distance in the third quarter, trailing Coosa in single digits at 56-47 entering the final quarter. But Davidson scored nine of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, and the Conquerors never allowed the margin to get any closer than nine points.
Coosa improved to 22-4 and will host Spring Garden in a sub-regional game on Tuesday (Feb. 14).
Hollingsworth in his fifth season at Coosa, and he said his five-year plan is coming to fruition.
“These kids have bought in,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal thing. This is my fifth year. I had a five-year plan, and we fell short last year in what we thought we could do. But this year we’re right on track.”
Davidson was named the Area 11 Tournament MVP, while Evan Delp and Caleb Garrett were also named to the All-Tournament Team. Delp scored 14 points in the win and Garrett scored 10.
Braxton Thomas led the Purple Devils with 25 points.